Monday, June 9, 2008

And a Roadrunner in an Oak Tree . . .

So, we're moving. For real this time. I think. And this time it's back out to the lake where I belong, with the flora and fauna. And speaking of fauna, R called from the property where a male roadrunner was busily building a nest for his beloved. I've never seen a male roadrunner before, and so I promptly googled this feathered
fellow and discovered they (like most birds) are more colorful and prone to preening than the females. I've known guys like this. They do not make good mates.

The male roadrunner, however, apparently makes a pretty good mate, as R reported that the male was running back and forth, building a nest in the scrub oak at the front of the property. The tree is right on the driveway and not far from the power pole, so apparently this fellow, while beautiful, does not have a sense of location. Look closely at the middle of the photo and you can see her tail feathers sticking straight up in the air at the left, and her body is a U shape, with her long beak poking straight up on the right. In the second picture, look closely at the center and you can see her eye.

After much running about with twigs and sticks, R reported that a female hopped up on the rock underneath the tree to watch the hubub, when the male raced back over the driveway carrying a large green lizard. He hopped up on the female, dangling the dead lizard over her as he had his way with her. When he was finished, he offered her the lizard, which she promptly swallowed whole. Dinner and a date. What a guy.

After further googling, I discovered that, according to Audobon Magazine, this dinner and a date thing is a roadrunner pickup line. According to Jim Cornett, emeritus director of natural science, "“A lizard or a rodent represents the richness of the environment, and it is an important motivation. It says, ‘Hey, baby, I brought you a lizard. It’s good out here. Let’s make a home.’ ” I'm not making this up.

At any rate, I still have not seen this Mighty Lizard Killer, but I have seen his wife, who was dutifully sitting in the too-small nest *it looks like a fixerupper to me*. Here are two pictures of her, one where you can barely see her, and the other a closeup, where you can clearly see her terrified eye peering at me to get the hell away from her. So I did. Far be it from me to foul up a fowl nursery.

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Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing

Barnes & Noble Round Rock Signing
My friend Pantera with Tahoe & Me

Tahoe and a new friend at the signing